U.S. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) on Thursday became the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to endorse former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg for president — and just the second Democratic member of the state’s congressional delegation to formally pick sides in the White House race.
The campaign said that Brown, a military veteran like Buttigieg, will become the campaign’s first national co-chairman.
“Our country needs a president who can heal our divides and restore decency to our nation’s highest office,” Brown said in a statement. “Pete’s message is not defined by exclusion but welcomes everyone into the fight to tackle our nation’s greatest challenges.”
Brown also expressed confidence that Buttigieg, who served as a Naval intelligence officer in Afghanistan, will keep the U.S. out of “endless wars.”
Buttigieg said Brown would help him “heal our nation’s divides.”
“As a veteran of the Iraq War, Congressman Brown understands firsthand the gravity of the decisions that are made in Washington,” Buttigieg said. “Congressman Brown has been a leader in rejecting the political warfare we have come to expect from Washington, focused on keeping our nation safe while working to end endless wars, boosting workforce development, and make sure we have an economy that works for everyone.”
Brown is a former colonel of the United States Army Reserve and while lieutenant governor was one of the highest ranking public officials to serve in Iraq, where he earned the Bronze Star. He is currently the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Brown is the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to endorse Buttigieg — a potential boon to the candidate, who has struggled to win support from African-American voters, who are critical in Democratic presidential nominating contests.
He’s also just the fourth member of Congress overall to endorse the novice candidate, according to a tally kept by Politico.
Brown is the second member of Maryland’s Democratic congressional delegation to take sides in the presidential primary. Rep. David J. Trone (D) has endorsed his predecessor, former Rep. John K. Delaney (D).
(Disclosure: The David and June Trone Family Foundation is a financial supporter of Maryland Matters.)
Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D) has been quoted publicly expressing widespread admiration for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and suggested he was a supporter, but a full-blown endorsement has yet to materialize, according to the Politico count.